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New mica redress scheme 'falls way short of the mark once again', campaigners say

Campaigners intend to march in Dublin again if the government does not revisit its plan.

A mica-affected home in Malin Head, Co Donegal
A mica-affected home in Malin Head, Co Donegal
Image: Alamy

A NEW REDRESS scheme for homes damaged by mica is still not sufficient to meet the cost of rebuilding, a campaign group believes.

It is understood that a new government scheme would cover up to €138 per square foot for rebuilding homes affected by mica, with a total cap of €420,000.

In theory, the new scheme raises the government’s redress from 90% to 100%, but the Mica Action Group says it still falls short of adequately covering the costs incurred by homeowners. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, campaigner Michael Doherty said that the government has known about the mica crisis “for ages, they’ve done nothing about it, a lot of taxpayer money is already wasted and homeowners have been left to carry the can”.

“The new enhanced scheme seems to have fallen on the same hurdles where it looks good at the headline level but when you delve down into the detail of it, it falls way short of the mark once again,” Doherty said.

“They’ve given the impression that homeowners up here can avail of up to €420,000 to remediate their homes. That’s not the case,” he said.

“There is a square foot cap which kicks in long before that and the average homeowners will find they’re in or around €40,000 short of the mark.

“Not the hundreds that they were before, but for most of these homeowners, €40,000 or €100,000 is irrelevant – the bottom line to them is they simply can’t afford it.”

Defective building blocks that contain excessive amounts of mica have caused damage to thousands of properties, especially in Co Donegal where an estimated 5,000 are affected. 

Homes in Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Limerick have also been impacted as the damaged bricks cause walls to crumble.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Dublin last month to call for a 100% redress scheme.

Campaigners intend to march again if the government does not revisit its plan. 

“We’re not leaving people behind,” Doherty said.

“If they can’t provide that and do the decent thing by the homeowner, we’re going to have to go back to the streets of Dublin, but it will be very very different,” he said.

“It has to be different this time and it’s going to be at a level not seen before.

“It’ll be a Christmas Dublin will never forget.

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“We believe we have enough disaffected TDs at this stage that we can force change in government if it comes to that.”

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Lauren Boland

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